Jacoby Ellsbury hit a two-run homer to snap a tie and Jason Varitek added another to complete the scoring as the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees 9-5.
The victory at Fenway Park in Boston last night extended the Red Sox’s advantage over the Yankees to 1 1/2 games in Major League Baseball’s American League East division. The three-game series, which began with a 5-2 win for the Yankees, ends tonight.
“Our guys played well and we have a chance to win the series,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters. “That’s what we’re going to try to do.”
Eduardo Nunez scored on Derek Jeter’s single in the third inning to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Dustin Pedroia scored Marco Scutaro on a groundout and Jed Lowrie knocked in Ellsbury with a single to make it 2-1 for Boston. David Ortiz extended the home team’s advantage with a two-run home run in the fifth.
The Yankees rallied to lead 5-4 in the sixth. Robinson Cano and Eric Chavez had run-scoring doubles and Nick Swisher scored on an error by Josh Reddick before Nunez’s sacrifice fly sent Chavez home to give New York the lead.
Varitek’s run-scoring double tied it in the bottom of the sixth before Ellsbury hit the go-ahead home run. Varitek added his two-run homer in the eighth to seal the victory.
Josh Beckett improved to 12-5, allowing five runs on six hits while striking out eight in seven innings of work. Phil Hughes took the loss to drop to 4-5, giving up eight hits and six runs in 5 2/3 innings.
“A couple mistakes basically cost it for us,” Hughes told reporters in the Yankees’ locker room. “My stuff was good early, but I made a couple mistakes and they capitalized. That’s the way it goes and we have to come back and get the third game.”
A.J. Burnett is scheduled to start tonight for the Yankees, who fell to 81-53 with the defeat, with Jon Lester pitching for Boston, which improved to 83-52.